brief outlook on DA

Brief Outlook on Dental Assisting

Are you thinking about pursuing a career in dental assisting but are unsure of going forth with it? Don’t worry, we understand; we’ve all experienced some hesitation when selecting a career. Maybe it’s the uncertainty of what the outcome will be if we start the journey, will we be able to find a position soon? Or is it the fear of taking the first step towards a career? We can often see ourselves asking a circle of questions. Some we may know the answers to while others are left unanswered.

Unanswered questions can often leave doubt which leaves us stuck at square one. It’s common to think medical positions are the route to go into getting a position after studying since everyone needs some medical attention. However, before making such a hasty decision, you want to look at all the numbers to be able to calculate the risk. In a time where the job market is constantly shifting, you want to be able to figure the risks of pursuing that specific career.

In this case, is dental assisting a profession that will pay off? There is a lot to consider from what the position itself requires to where you plan on practicing. We’ve done a brief outlook of what you can expect as a dental assistant.  

Dental Assisting

Dental assistants are the helping hands of dentists who help prepare patients for treatment and calm their nerves. They are the first dental professionals who greet and care for the needs of their patients. Dental assistants perform various tasks depending on their licenses and certifications, but you can usually find them assisting dentists during procedures, taking oral x-ray exams, and maintaining patient records.

Did you know according to US News, “Dental Assistants rank #21 in Best Health Care Support Jobs.” They hold an average score of 6 when it comes to the job market and job growth. The prospects of the future growth of more dental assisting positions are likely, meaning you already see a higher chance of finding a position. Although, you might want to consider other factors, in the next section take a look at what the job market growth is.

Outlook as a Dental Assistant

Job Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is the employment of dental assistants that is “projected to grow 19 percent from 2016 to 2026.” That is 3% less of the projected growth for other healthcare support positions which are to grow during the same period. The given growth is determined on the need to meet a demand for preventative dental services which are being associated with general health. As more studies come out with links to how oral health and overall health are related, there will be an increase of patients looking to have their teeth treated.

Median Wage

The annual median wage for a dental assistant in 2017 was $37,630. However, as you show know, depending on the branches you work in the salary will vary. For example, if you work in the government branch, you are looking at a median wage salary of $41,480 which is higher than the average for working at a dental clinic with a private practitioner which is $37,620 (the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

You also have to consider the hours you can work. In 2016, “nearly 1 in 3 assistants worked part-time,” that is not to say you can’t work full-time because you can. There is a diverse range of hourly wage one can earn. The median hourly wage is $18.09 while the lowest is $12.58 and top 90 percentile wage is $25.54 (Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics). These numbers can vary based on the branch of where you work whether it’s for private clinics, government, or education, it can affect how much earn in addition to your experience and location.  

If we look at the state of Utah, the annual mean wage is $30,270 which is less than its surrounding state neighbors (Occupational Employment Statistics). The state of Utah has 3.3 % of job growth which is the highest in the U.S. along with an increase of 3.7% of private sector job growth (Department of Workforce Services). What does that mean? Since March 2017 and March 2018, Utah’s economy is booming as more jobs are being added from private sectors including health services as the third sector to be adding jobs. It means there are more opportunities for individuals to find employment as the state’s economy grows.   


In a time where the growth rate for dental assistants is increasing and where more health services are adding jobs to the economy of Utah, jumping into a dental career can have you questioning whether by the time you graduate you will be able to find a position. Dental assisting doesn’t require years of schooling, on average it can range from a couple of months to 2 years, depending on whether you are pursuing certification or a degree.

Most programs now offer more than just classroom teaching but a hands-on experience for you to be able to apply the concepts, protocols, and methods used while assisting. Although there are some states which don’t require students to complete an academic program, you can get ahead of the competition by becoming certified to start working as a dental assistant.

At The Core Foundation, we offer a dental assisting program both onsite and offline. For our onsite dental assisting program it’s an accelerated program of 12-weeks where you will gain the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to work in a dental office. We’re committed to preparing our students to work confidently and maximize their understanding through hands-on training and dental office experience to land the job. For our online program, you will be given six months to complete the program on your own time and pace. You don’t want to miss out on our exclusive discount for our program, find out more about our discount click here.

To enroll in our Dental Assisting Program, click here for more information and to know what they are saying.

We know there can be hesitation when choosing a profession that requires us to go back to school. However, in a job market where the is constant shifts we have to do our research to know the risks of what we can expect in the coming years. Please note, our post is a brief outlook for a more thorough look, you’ll need to research it further.


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